Henry James, The Turn of the Screw

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The Turn of the Screw

has recently been called “the greatest ghost story ever written” (Barbara Everett,

TLS

, December 23 & 30, 2005). An unnamed governess, at Bly (a country house in Essex), is seemingly confronted by two former employees – the master’s valet (called Peter Quint) and the previous governess (a Miss Jessel) – who, she comes to believe, have returned from the dead to reclaim the two children (Miles and Flora), now put in her charge (along with that of the housekeeper, Mrs Grose). The story ends calamitously for the children, with, it would appear, the girl driven to something like madness, and the boy frightened to death. The governess’s career, nevertheless, seems not to have been prevented from resuming unscathed.

The Turn of the Screw was written (or rather

1865 words

Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "The Turn of the Screw". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 January 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7993, accessed 22 June 2024.]

7993 The Turn of the Screw 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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